British Sign Language (BSL)

british flag
British Flag

British Sign Language  is the sign language used in the United Kingdom (UK). One of the most notable features of BSL is their two-handed manual alphabet.

BSL is related to Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). These three signed languages descended from the same parent language and are part of the BANZSL language family and share the same manual alphabet.

Even though the United States and the United Kingdom both speak English predominantly, BSL and American Sign Language (ASL) are very different. As you may know by my comments, BSL uses two hands for their alphabet while ASL uses one.

BSL also has many dialects that vary region by region. For example, signs in Scotland may not be understood in southern England. Some signs are even different from city to city. An example of this would be the Manchester number signs.

The BSL Alphabet

by soniahollis

If you want to learn some BSL, we recommend these resources:


Even though you’re having fun with BSL, don’t forget to learn ASL too!


One Response

  1. I am British and this makes me smile, this was the first alphabet I learned in Sign Language. Seeing it again after a very long time I remembered it like riding a bike!! Now I am only focused on ASL !! However, when I get better and farther along I may also delve more into my British roots of BSL.

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